11 facts you need to know about the fight against HIV/AIDS


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Depending on how you look at it, the new data on the HIV/AIDS epidemic can tell two very different stories.  On the one hand, the world has made huge progress against HIV/AIDS – for example, last year alone, more people were put on AIDS treatment than ever before.  On the other hand, there are still way too many people becoming infected with the disease and donor funding continued to fall.

Here are some things you should know — facts that tell the good news story and facts that shed light on the challenges we face. After checking out this information, see the new infographic below (or see the PDF here) for a full view of the story these numbers tell.


  • For the first time ever, more than half of the people who need treatment for AIDS are getting it – that’s 19.5 million people accessing the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives.
  • 17 million people living with HIV are still not accessing the treatment they need.

New infections

  • Fewer people were infected with HIV last year than any other year since the UN started counting back in 1990.
  • Three people are infected with HIV every minute – that’s 1.8 million people globally last year alone. And young women account for two out of three new infections among young people in sub-Saharan Africa.


  • The countries most affected by HIV are spending more fighting it than ever before,
  • Financing from donor governments is down for the second year in a row and total financing is far short – $7 billion short – of where it needs to be by 2020 to end AIDS for good.

What the future holds…

  • Promising new prevention tools are in the pipeline – like an injectable drug for long-lasting HIV prevention and an HIV vaccine. While it will take time for these tools to be fully developed, tested, and deployed, their potential to dramatically speed up the response to HIV/AIDS is huge.
  • Any slowdown in the AIDS response now risks a resurgence of the disease as Africa’s population grows. The number of young people in sub-Saharan Africa is growing faster than any other region in the world, and this population is particularly susceptible to HIV.

So how does this story end?

The outcome rests squarely on the shoulders of today’s leaders. To accelerate our impact and ensure that every person can get the care and treatment they need, they must take action to close the resource gap, support innovation and strengthen health systems. Anything less could surrender the hard-earned gains of the past decade.

If you want to join the fight against HIV/AIDS then check out how you can get involved with our friends at (RED).

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